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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 1, 2010 6:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

We've talked about it a million times, and never gotten anywhere, frankly...with all the disdain for chit-chat, I am surprised that folks don't get mad about this topic because the bottom line is we have exhausted all the tangents, and never gotten to the real issue, IMHO.

First, the band was inconsistent ("it's okay!" "no, it's not okay!"). Fine.

Second, the ownership issue is unclear, at least to some (who owns "it"? the band? the venue? the ticket holders? all of them? only the performers?). Who knows--who cares. Lets say "it" belongs to the band.

Third, the historical legacy issue is increasingly important as the clock ticks--literally (the tapes exist; other folks "own" them; Phil likes to access them and make money off them; etc., etc.). Complex? Yep. Simple answer? Probably not...but again, not really the crux of the matter.

Fourth, similar to # 3, we love the band, we have benefited from "it" (tapes, live shows, etc.) and have various view points as to different aspects of # 1 thru # 3 above. But we generally view the band as "generous" in part as a result of "it".

Put it all together now: they ("it"--tapes/disks) exist; they aren't going away; they have historical "value"; they have monetary value; thus all the discussion about the various prinicples of the whole biz, is largely academic (which of course is why we do go on and on about it--I got that).

What really needs to be addressed in a defn fashion is what EFFECT "it" has had on the band. Period.

I think an argument can be made (in fact it has--I have read a couple of mss about it) that bands do actually benefit from the activity, ESPECIALLY when it is pseudo regulated (ie, it is "grey" as to whether or not it is kosher to tape and distribute since this keeps supply "low").

So, really, at this point, it might still be fun to go round and round about it all, but what really needs to be established is that if "it" (all the recordings, ALL of them) went away, and if everything associated with "it" vanished as well, would the band be better off or not?

Dunno. But clearly one could argue that this would have a number of negative consequences: would we view them as generous? would we as a group be interested in buying dozens and dozens of tapes of shows if we had never been a part of "it" all these years? Conversely, do we in fact buy fewer because they exist? Etc., etc., etc.

Without the answers to these questions, I don't think one can really say anything defn about it all, at all. I can easily see it going either way...I think that elb and I could probably address this thorny issue with a $500k grant from NSF, funded thru UC Santa Cruz, so write those legislators to ramp up the funding and we'll get on it...

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Poster: snori Date: Mar 2, 2010 2:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

A certain amount of mythology has grown up about this (as with so many aspects of The Grateful Dead), and even the technology pages of the 'heavyweight' are not immune. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/feb/21/the-networker-john-naughton Incidentally, wasn't a lot of the merchandise (I'm thinking T-shirts, bumper stickers etc) also 'bootlegged' ?

This post was modified by snori on 2010-03-02 10:31:26

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Poster: jerrys beard Date: Mar 2, 2010 5:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

The taping culture (both the illicit and with tacit approval from the band) created a mystique that, in a large part, led to the creation of the mythical creature that is commonly known as The Grateful Dead. Being a teenager in the late 60's and early 70's, we were always hearing about "the tapes of shows" that were out there somewhere, coveting them, searching for them. It created an aura that was almost magical. If only we could find someone, who knew someone, whose cousin had a copy of the tape of "that show" then our lives would be complete. It kept us constantly connected with the band at a time when there wasn't a lot of new vinyl to listen to. Then came Live Dead (a topic for a later thought, but related).

In modern parlance, taping created a BUZZ unlike any other band had. It may be hard to remember (or understand if you are younger), but we had to wait long periods of time between the release of new records and there wasn't a lot to do except listen to what you had and wait and talk. Tapes filled the gap and kept you going. When you finally found your "tape connection" it was about as good as finding your trusty dealer, you knew you could make it through the wait. Sorry for the drug reference, but those were different days back then and for me and my buddies the analogy was accurate.

Did taping hurt the band? It's hard to prove a negative, so we'll never know. However, I'm sitting here at 5:30 in the morning, listening to Road Trips 2.2, with Pig singing a real nice "Schoolgirl", getting ready for some "New Potato", in HDCD. I own just about every release the Dead have put out, including everything live (this is kind of where Live Dead fits...still one of my favorites). I have even repurchased (a word?) releases to get the upgrade in sound and bonus material. I'm obsessed and I think listening to tapes hooked me early on like no other band.

This whole forum is dedicated to taping. I don't know of any band that has fans this crazy, obsessed, faithful, dedicated to their point of view and I believe it is because the music got out there because of tapes. Obviously, the music is the message, but the delivery system allowed us to become converts.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Mar 2, 2010 10:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

I am too young to have shared this experience with you. I am a child of the digital age and discovered the band in the digital format. Over the last 5 years I have seen recordings come pouring into this site, upgrades from dedicated Masters and source tapes from great audience recordings, and MATRIX RECORDINGS From Kevin Tobin and HSeamsons are now all the rage.

There is no way that the GD Vault could spread this music around all on their own. There is no doubt in my mind that that community feeling that surrounds the music draws people in and ensures financial viability for the still-touring musicians.

Lots of music groups out there would be HORRIFIED if all of their live recordings were available for detailed scholarly analysis because their shows just were NOT GOOD. The Grateful Dead succeeded with this practice because they were truly great musicians and did not hide behind fancy records with mastermind pop producers.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 2, 2010 10:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

One of the reasons I've really come to enjoy Ryan Adams, Wilco, and to a lesser extent, My Morning Jacket. If all I had was the studio releases, I'd listen, enjoy for a bit, and put on a shelf and forget for awhile. With the mentioned artists, I follow them on tours and hear them grow,develop, etc. The lesson wasn't lost on a lot of current artists. ALso, kudos to Wilco for also trying to keep their ticket prices in line with reason.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 2, 2010 11:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

I've been thinking for some time that I ought to investigate MMJ. You have a pretty good handle on my tastes, do you think I'd like them?

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Mar 2, 2010 11:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

I didn't really care one way or another, but I caught their late night set at Bonnaroo in '06 and that convinced me. Then again, that was because they slayed The Who's "A Quick One". Their last release is very Prince like - a lot of falsetto singing. I don't always go for them, and won't always sit through a show, but a good starting point is their show on Austin City Limits a year or two back. This is probably a fairly good intro as to whether or not you will like them:

http://www.archive.org/details/mmj2008-12-31

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 2, 2010 12:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

Thanks, bd. I'm not big on falsetto so it doesn't sound too hopeful, but I'll give it a go and report back!

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Poster: William Tell Date: Mar 2, 2010 6:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

Good comments you three--this was exactly what I was getting at...I understand that in an individual instance, a person with some "thing" that you feel is "yours" and capable of generating income can be viewed in one light, but taken in sum, I think, personally, that the band benefited, overall, and in economic terms, from all that we do...think of how many people I have inflicted (exposed) to the DEAD and the fact is, without "it", I wouldn't have been able to do it, blah, blah, blah...

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Poster: groovernut Date: Mar 2, 2010 11:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

Frank (that's Zappa) had thought about this....


It's a miserable friday night
I'm so lonely
And nobody'll give me a ride
To the grateful dead concert...oh rats!

I got to be free
Free as the wind
Free is the way
I got to be

Maybe I'm lost
Maybe I sinned
I got to be
Totally free

Our parents don't love us
Our teachers they say
Things that are boring
So we're running away
And we will be free
And people will see
That when we are free
That's the way we should be

Nothing left to do but get out the 'ol
Glue
(sniff it good now...)

Our parents don't love us
Our teachers they say
Things that are boring
So we're running away

And we will be free
And people will see
That when we are free
That's the way we should be
(we must be free!)
The glue! the glue! I can't find the glue!
(we must be free as the wind)
If I was at the concert now, I'd be ripped!
(we were free when we were born)
I could tighten my headband for an extra rush
During jerry's guitar solo
Then I could go to a midnite show of 200 motels!
(we were born free, but, now we are not free anymore!)
"opal, you hot little bitch!"
"you can take this pin n' hang it in yer ass!"
"you ain't the devil!"
"where's my waitress? "
But we wanna be free
An' were gonna be free

Yes, we want to be free and we're gonna be free
... did you know that
Free is when you don't have to
Pay for nothing
Or do nothing
We want to be free
Free as the wind

Free is when you don't have to
Pay for nothing
Or do nothing
We want to be free
Free as the wind

Free is when you don't have to
Pay for nothing
Or do nothing
We want to be free
Free as the wind

Free is when you don't have to
Pay for nothing
Or do nothing
We want to be free
Free as the wind

This post was modified by groovernut on 2010-03-02 19:22:10

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 2, 2010 11:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

Tedious bastard, that Zappa. Kris and Keller said it all so much better.

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don't mean nothing honey if it ain't free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee."


"I really wanted to go
I saved up all of my dough
I didn't go to any other shows
And I got my tickets M.O.ed
And I never missed a Deer Creek show
From '89 to '95
I was happy just to be alive
On my yearly Indiana vacation

But that was cut short by a bunch of jealous,
party bashin', buzz thrashin', gate crashin', stinky bastards

And if you're one of them
And you hear this song

Fuck you
You cocksucking motherfucker"


Zappa really should have shut up and played his guitar.


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Poster: groovernut Date: Mar 2, 2010 11:54am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

Frank Shredded.

Jerry knew it... mutual even... look here...others know it also.

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=113320

Listen to a good Muffin man, hey would have given Jerry a serious run for it! His performances where more consistent!

What there where issues with the dead? Other musicians were better, WHAT WHAT WHAT!

Oh and Rob I know you will hate this even more. I also went to the most deer creek shows. Had a riot.. never had to crash the gate since I had back stage access...have a connection that gave me open invitations....

Just remember it's possible that we where grooving together at the same time....

You know from what I could tell the Band was way less fanatical then than fans....

This post was modified by groovernut on 2010-03-02 19:54:03

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Mar 2, 2010 11:56am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

Look, you tosser, there was no discussion opened on Zappa's abilities as a guitar player, just on his frankly(!) pedestrian accomplishments as a lyricist. Do try to respond to what's actually being said if you possibly can, it would make you just so much more endearing. Invincible ignorance strikes again.

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Poster: groovernut Date: Mar 2, 2010 1:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

By the way this thread is not about giving me a hard time it's about if or not tapes should be free or what not. The song I posted is roughly on topic. I also mentioned that the band was a bit more business than your might have though from you seat.
To your point...

more pedestrian than say bobby? And by the way rob, that like just your opinion. I think Frank was quick to opt out of that overly naive idealistic drivel that came out of hunter or dare I say Barlow's pen. So I'll take your statement with 2 grains of salt please.

While I like Me and Bobby McGee as a song, I don't even think the lyrics make sense... It's kin to "stupid is what stupid does!" it's silly! Beside nobody in the GD wrote that song..... Frank used satire which requires intelligence to understand, that what kept him out of the mainstream.. unlike the dead who by 95 where pretty main stream...

Your song, the lyrics they are well shallow and weak....keep your day job, rob..... beside you should have gone to other shows also, it would have given you perspective. Is that a real poncho or is that a "Sears and Roebucks" poncho?



For the sake civility can you drop the raucous name calling?


This post was modified by groovernut on 2010-03-02 21:04:59

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Poster: Hal R Date: Mar 2, 2010 8:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

the analogy between the dealer and your tape source is right on and sometimes they were one and the same

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Poster: high flow Date: Mar 2, 2010 11:53am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Everything thus far is beside the point if you ask me...

http://www.archive.org/iathreads/post-view.php?id=282593

Here is one recent thread on this topic.

I agree with WT. There's no clear resolution to this issue. We are left to listen, enjoy and hope the band remains generous. They have been very generous so far.

Thanks GD!

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Mar 1, 2010 9:30pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: more pointless tape-chatter...

Hmm?
I was just writing about the situation in the early '70s, so your proposed discussion is a total hijack!
Just kidding....

Phil in his book is a wholehearted supporter of aud-taping, calling it the "best decision we never made." (He even makes it sound like they were always taper-friendly, but his book's very diplomatic.)
There was even an article in the Atlantic recently talking about what a great policy this was, creating lots of new fans by spreading concert tapes.
But of course the band's not unanimous on this; they've probably long had mixed feelings, especially where SBDs are concerned.

The current policy on the Dead shows in the vault is, of course, not to let anything out.
When Latvala was the Vault archivist, hundreds of shows were leaked. (If the Dead organization noticed, they looked the other way.) That's ended, though C. Miller's permitted from time to time to "release" something new. For the most part, we'll only hear a "new" show when & if it's released on a Road Trips. (That doesn't matter much for late-era Dead, but there are still many uncirculating/incomplete shows from the early years.)

The financial effect on the band is unknown.

The general feeling is that it made more people want to go to more shows. Then again, 'Touch of Grey' probably filled more stadiums than a thousand Dead show-tapes; and their live albums would have reached more people. (And the audience that built up in the early '70s had few or no tapes to listen to, it was word-of-mouth.)

There's the issue of 'deadhead culture' - this band had to adapt to the audience it created. If this audience wanted to tape shows, eventually the Dead had to give in. If the audience wanted to make every show a freewheeling drug party, the Dead just sighed; narcs rejoiced; and lots more people might have been turned on because of that "experience" than because of the music.

There's the question of what works for other bands - in general, do pro-taping bands get bigger audiences, or does it matter? Is a taper-friendly policy entirely a matter of personal feeling, regardless of ticket sales? This is a question outside my scope; but in our culture, most successful bands hate tapers, or reluctantly tolerate them.

How it affects sales of live CDs, the Dead won't tell us. This is strange - usually in our culture, the entertainment news is full of measurements of box-office receipts, CD sales, etc. So it's rather bizarre that the Dead organization gives out no information even on which releases have sold the best.
(I can only assume, if the Road Trips keep coming out while the Download Series bit the dust, this is financially determined, but some of their decisions make little sense - for instance, the "limited edition" Fillmore '69, or those stupid "early-buyer-only" bonus discs.)

You might say, if Dead audiences are particularly used to the idea/availability of a wide range of shows, it prepared the way for a never-ending release series of live shows to a bottomless market. But then, in recent years other bands without a long taping history (or such distinctive performances) have also made all their shows on a tour available - it may just be part of a modern trend.
(I think it wasn't until the CD age that "outtakes" and "unheard 30-year-old shows" really became a popular marketing concept - the idea that people would pay for the artists' rejects, forgotten radio shows, etc. So the popularity of collecting Dead shows is, to some extent, a small part of the larger culture's encouragement of "collecting" habits.)

The Dead are somewhat "special" in that I can't think of any other rock bands with the sheer number & variety of live tapes. You'd have to go to jazz music to find a similar idea that an artist's entire live concert history is worth listening to, show by show, with boxed sets of their "complete recordings" released - so there's little to compare them to.

Let's take Bob Dylan as an example - the guy's been performing live for 500 years (well, OK, only 50), and almost every show of the last 40 years has been taped. He's had a rabid following since the mid-'60s. The most famous early bootleg was a Dylan bootleg. Dylan himself was firmly anti-bootleg (bothered both by privacy & financial issues), and in the last 20 years has made certain that his studio tapes are locked up tight.
Yet, did Dylan ever show any interest in releasing old concerts or tapes? Far from it - like many other famous artists, he combined a revulsion for 'illicit' bootlegs, with a refusal to release anything similar, and a positive delight in leaving his best stuff unreleased. Finally in the Biograph box-set, a few bones were thrown to famished fans. (It was actually one of the first CD box-sets, a sign of the coming age.) Interest eventually mounted so high that an occasional "bootleg series" CD gets released now & then - only a tiny fraction of his amazing performances though, and nowhere near the Dead's release rate.
By the way, this essay on the morality of bootlegging Dylan is well worth reading:
http://www.phil.vt.edu/JKlagge/BootleggingBob.pdf

On the whole, I'd guess that a pro-taping policy was not only inevitable, but beneficial for the Dead. But that's assuming that it got more people interested in going to shows & buying albums. It might have made no difference at all.

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Mar 2, 2010 10:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more pointless tape-chatter...

They went from

"Their walls are built of cannonballs, their motto is don't tread on us"

to

"If all you got to live for is what you left behind, then get yourself a powder charge and seal that silver mine."

to

Paradise waits, on the crest of a wave, her angels in flames.
She has no pain, like a child she is pure, she is not to blame.
Poised for flight, wings spread bright, spring from night into the sun.
Don't stop to run, she can fly like a lie, she can't be outdone.

Tell me the cost; I can pay, let me go, tell me love is not lost.
Sell everything; without love day to day insanity's king.
I will pay day by day, anyway, lock, bolt and key.
Crippled but free, I was blind all the time I was learning to see.

Help on the way, well, I know only this, I've got you today.
Don't fly away, cause I love what I love and I want it that way.
I will stay one more day, like I say, honey it's you.
Making it too, without love in a dream it will never come true.

Maybe it's cause I've been tripping every weekend for the last month, but methinks I see a parallel between the evolution of Hunter's lyrics for the band and their attitude towards tapers ;)

The transition from resistance to one of acceptance.

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Poster: Hal R Date: Mar 2, 2010 8:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: more pointless tape-chatter...

I have talked to someone within the Rhino beast about a year ago and he told me one of the best sellers was the Egypt Rockin The Cradle Set - no the best INMHO but it had the video - so maybe folks went for that. Also the big box set from Winterland 1973 was a big seller.